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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Please, I know this is bit of a daft question, but I have had issues last few years with batteries going down, and not recharging enough to hold charge for a week.
I have noticed that on reconnecting the new battery for this years motorcycling enjoyment, there is a faint arc or flash when connecting up the earth lead. Thus indicating a power drain from some component or other.
Is this common on these bikes? I haven't noticed it before, but then again, never bothered to look. It was connect up and go... had this particular 06 model almost from new.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thought as much, but had to be sure before I started down the road of checking all the bits.
On my second optimate charger, Think the previous one had enough.....
 

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All bikes with modern electronics have a key off drain. Typically the clock function in the meter, but sometimes also the ECU (rare, but there are examples).

Use an ammeter across the main fuse to measure it. Typically a few milliamps. More than 8 or 9 is a bit high. Haven't checked my Gina's draw, but the original, properly serviced Yuasa is going on 5 years without a hitch.....and I do use a "smart" tender ( not a Battery Tender Jr).
 

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A "smart charger" is one that has circuitry to monitor the battery and provide a proper maintenance charge as needed. Most "dumb" chargers are simply low current constant rate transformers.....Battery Tender Juniors are like that.
Cheap but dumb.

Optimate 3+ or 4 chargers, NOCO Genius chargers and some others cost a bit more but will keep your battery healthy even when plugged in 24/7.
The dumb chargers will eventually cook your battery if left plugged in all the time.

The newest technology is full wave solid state rectification chargers like the NOCO. They do not use a transformer. They use the full wave for charging instead of half, therefore being more effecient and faster, and develop no heat so they can be sealed against the elements (no vents in the case).

I am currently using the NOCO Genius 1100. I highly recommend it. Not too expensive and very high tech.
I retired my Optimates after I checked out the NOCO.
 

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I also have one Genius 1100...but I have six Battery Tender Plus units and they work just fine...for 6 years now.
 

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1 x genius, 1 x battery tender, 1x battery minder, 1x Schumacher , 1x fixed current auto charger. That is five chargers for 4 vehicles. My stuff is always plugged when not running. your batteries will stay factory fresh for years, literally. The only thing in this case that would damage your batteries in the long run is from the heat cycling of usage. Done this way, we are talking at least 3 years before you start noticing less than new performance from your batteries. If you started out with a high quality battery (Yuasa comes to mind), it may be an additional year or two before it behaves less than new. Batteries are not ever maintenance free, just less maintenance free than others if you get the good ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To sum it all up then, my trusty Optimate 3 is ok ish but need to up grade.
No wonder my batteries are giving up early.
Going to see whats on offer here in the UK...hmmmm
 

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I switched to Lithium after my Yuasa gave up the ghost after 11 years.

The only time it wasn't on a charger and it dies on me, taught me a lesson I won't forget.
 

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I switched to Lithium after my Yuasa gave up the ghost after 11 years.

The only time it wasn't on a charger and it dies on me, taught me a lesson I won't forget.


This says it all.
 

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Ed;
its not the digital clock.......a digital wrist watch goes for a year on an itty bitty one

:drummer:
All modern bikes have a key off current draw.

As a general rule, unplug the meter and the key off current draw goes away.

You tell me what it is.
 

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All modern bikes have a key off current draw.
All modern vehicles. ECU doesn't use static RAM for OBD and maps, it needs electricity to maintain its memory. That is one of the reasons cars/bikes can run a bit wonky immediately after a power outage. Not much though, a good battery should still last a few weeks provided its not incredibly chilly.
 

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All modern vehicles. ECU doesn't use static RAM for OBD and maps, it needs electricity to maintain its memory. That is one of the reasons cars/bikes can run a bit wonky immediately after a power outage. Not much though, a good battery should still last a few weeks provided its not incredibly chilly.
Actually, on most bikes I have worked on, the ECU does not have battery draw with key off.... except a very small number of vehicles.

You can do the test yourself with an ammeter. Just pull the main fuse and put the ammeter probes in its place. Usually you will see about a milliamp or so of current. Some bikes more (up to several milliamps on a few).
Unplug the meter and it will drop to zero....on most.

A 700~750 Suzuki ATV has ECU current draw via the Idle Speed Control valve, about 4~6 milliamps total draw....why it has to keep in touch with that component when the key is off is beyond me. Unplug the ISC valve and current drops to 1 milliamp (the meter).

If you see big current (approaching a full ampere) then the rectifier diodes are shorting.....and your charge system is probably not doing a very good job, too.
 

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I had an epiphany in my dreams last night (yes, I do "eat, sleep, dream, live and love motorcycles").

European bikes (many, not all, and including Japanese bikes for that market) have an immobilizer system where the ECU has a constant small current draw. We don't see this so much in the USA. Factory installed alarms also create a current draw, frequently through the ECU.
Think of that blinking red light on Ducati dashes among others.

So my blanket statement about ECUs not creating current drain is inaccurate....still, for quite a few years now, the primary source of key off current drain is the meter panel and it's clock function here in the US market on most Japanese bikes.

The bottom line is this: a key off current draw of 1~2 milliamps is normal and one of the primary reasons battery tenders are needed for bikes not ridden frequently. At minimum, a maintenance charge is needed every 30 days. Key off draws of 6 milliamps or more are not common and probably indicate a component problem. That component can be found using an ammeter across the main fuse and unplugging components until the draw drops.

There, I feel better....I almost got up in the middle of the night to correct my previous blanket statement.....I know, weird dreams. :ahhh:
 

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Ed;
after reading and trying to understand the 7 page explanation of how the voltage regulator works in conjunction with the ECU monitoring it....:jsm:

anything could go wrong
 

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Major cause with capacity loss in battery is simply SELF DISCHARGE on healthy bikes. Also, if your trips are so short that battery have no time to recharge or if you like doing things with your bike without running it like turning the key on the check the electronics and lights and such, then again will take capacity from batteries. A partially charged battery left that way is never good, especially for starting batteries. That is why it is imperative to leave a sitting bike with a fully charged battery. For a new battery, need to top up the charge at least once a month. More often for older batteries or batteries that have already been abused. If you want your battery to last for years and years, then always keep it plugged when sitting. Batteries have a soul too :) even the standard Koyo that comes with these later bikes.
 
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